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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Does "Love" has anything to do with marriage and its long lasting success?

Does 'love' has anything to do with marriage and its longevity???

Surprisingly, no.

We Indians are the perfect living example of this quest.

We are making a mockery of this so called 'love' with our arranged marriages when the rest of the world is turbulent with their love marriages and its short life.

But..the credit should go to our forefathers' brilliance in drawing the clauses in such a way to make our marriages a 'forever' one.

Even in this modern day and age..we still arrange marriages and it still withstand the whither and tither to last through a whole life time!

when the rest of the world is suffering from broken homes, children out of wedlocks, and many number of single parents, we are safely cocooned in our love-less nests!

Does it mean that love is not essential to make a marriage work?

Obviously!

But..if westerners try to copy this method..it'll definitely backfire!

How come a successful strategy for Indians will bring failure to westerners?

Because..Our culture, our long standing traditions, our male chauvinistic society and Religion ..all have a major role in making our arranged marriages into a roaring success!

Our culture frown upon male-female friendship. It doesn't allow interactions between male and female. Even an innocent friendship attracts criticism. In this way..it successfully eliminates the danger of infatuation, lust and love. Let's be honest..even today..with all their economic independence and education, women still hesitate to befriend a male! Initiating a spontaneous 'hi' is still a hard task for them. After getting over this cultural hangover, most ppl find it easy to mingle with the opposite sex.

Naturally..Cupid's arrow hit some of them. but when it comes to marriage..again culture raises it's ugly head and stops them from pursuing their love. Religion, caste, economic status, educational status, family status, societal pressure and Dowry.. almost all the above become the reason for their cowardliness.

In India..marriage is not just between 2 people..a willing male and female. It's between 2 families. 2 families mean ..the entire clan!:)

These entire cultural concepts have been drummed into their heads from childhood.

What are the qualifications expected from women to become a bride?

Women are to be submissive..in sugar coated words..she is to be more understanding of anything and everything..in other words, no self respect, no ego and no pride!! Women should fall in love at first sight of their in-laws,..i.e..mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother inlaw, aunt-in-law, uncle-in-law,grandma-in-law, grandpa-in-law..and don't forget the distant ones..phewww..again the entire clan! Women should take care of their in-laws till their last breath where as men need not! Virginity is a must for women. Having a past life is still an unpardonable sin even though their virginity is intact! They need to be moderately intelligent.but SHOULD NOT be overly brilliant!

They should have fairly good educational qualifications. But it need not [ should not?] be higher than their men. They should belong to the same religion, same caste,same sub sect..! They should be pious. Our culture abhors atheism in women.

Dowry tops the qualifications list. Their Dowry need to be considerably more than the groom's worth!

What self-respecting women would go through the humiliation of giving dowry to get her a husband? Western women would think like that. But Indian girls from their childhood are trained to see this as a respectful, sometimes even a proud gesture, a certain show-off to gain her rightful place in this society.

Goodlooks and fair skin are a must. But if the dowry is good, good looks can take a back seat.

Child bearing is a must and not at all optional. brood mares? Noooo..call them godly mothers!

Our culture makes motherhood into some divine quality. It's not just a biological phenomenon.

On the whole..Our culture makes women wear this religious cloak, have them follow the rigid rules [ for their own good..of course!] and CLEVERLY put them on a pedestal !

Women are godly creatures. They should be treated with all the respect known to mankind! By giving them the 'Goddess' status, it cleverly keeps them tied !

Let's see the expected qualifications of prospective groom..

Men also not spared..but their rules are more lenient.

From childhood, Indian boys start believing in their superiority to women. Maybe it's not a very conscious effort ...but just by observing the way their parents act, culture, traditions, our so called epics and society, this thought gets engraved on their minds.


Men are to be dominating..[in subtle tones..masterful!]. Men are allowed certain vices and even the 'not allowed sins' they commit are to be forgiven by their womenfolk. 'forgive and forget' is the mantra. [but it applies only to women!]

Taking care of one's family is men's job. both financially and socially. He should always be the master of the house. He cant afford to lose his job, even if his wife is an earning member. It earns him a disgusting 'sissy' tag! Having a string of degrees and a hefty pay cheque gets him a millionaire bride. But whatsoever...it's his earning capacity which decides his price ! Virginity is not a must! Having a past with one or 2 objectionable records is alright as long as his present life is on the 'ok' side.

For men also..marriage comes with 'forever' tag.

There are many a practical problems in marrying a complete stranger.

What if men find their wife to be dumb, what if this wife gets fat and ugly, what if the wife is not cooperative in bed, what if there is a total incompatibility on both sides?

No matter what...Men are stuck with them! The reasons may be wifey' wealth, children or the familial honour or parents' pressure.

This safe gurards the longevity of marriage..but indirectly paves way for extra marital affairs. But as long as it' doesnt affect the sanctity [!] of marriage society turns a blind eye.

Regarding extra marital affairs..what about women? Do they have the same freedom to have affairs?

No!

But they are also human..made of flesh and blood..

What if they find their husbands a dumb, boring ones..in and out of bed?

What if the husband gets hit by impotency ..say..after a couple of kids? After all..impotency is the biggest problem with today's men!

What if the husband turns abusive..physically and mentally?



Still..they have to endure their suffering through silence if they want to keep up their respectful place in the society. because..afterall they are on a pedestal!..and..pedestal-sitting, god-like ,noble women dont break homes at any cost! For children..they can. For themselves..they can not. because..it's considered as ego!
If the life gets imposiibly tortuous, they can opt for divorce. But..after divorce, their respectful 'married' status is gone for ever! Remarriage or second marriage is still a very distant dream for indian women. If the said women have children, she is doomed to live her entire life alone! Protection, safety also become a big question. Who would
save her from molesters, rapists, flirts, lechers of this world??? A divorced woman is a self-made widow! The social stigma is a nightmare!

No wonder women stick with their married life. 'no Option for out' is the cunning and clever clause and the credit goes to our forefathers.

So..no sane women would opt for divorce, unless the going gets too tough!

So..on the whole...culture, Religion, traditions, society, castism..everything have a stranglehold on our life.

Yes..For most Indians..marriage is a 'Gilded Cage'!

The brutal reality is..

The so called 'love'..eternal or true is not essential for a lasting marriage. Interestingly..most indians never experience 'love' in their life. Infatuation?..yes. Lust?..definitely. But love? A big question.

I must agree that even after all the above negative points, the result is a big positive one.

What are the positive outcome?

Indian arranged marriages give stability...safety, companionship if not love, society's support, family's monetary and emotional support, and it's moral backing.

For the two strangers who are tied together through marriage,the initial stage..the 'honeymoon period' goes in a jiffy. After all sex is the most powerful weapon. Within 5 years, arrival of kids keeps them busy. There goes another 10-15 years.

After 20 years of being together,gone through a lot of challenges life had thrown at them ..it makes them really a part of each other. They develop a certain affection for each other. Their dependability on each other is enormous. Each become a 'habit' to the other one. We all know habits die hard!

But..The crucial period of every marriage starts now. Because...by this time they reach the 'bored with each other' state. Becasue there was and still is no love-lost between them ..so the passion is missing. Without passion and love, they find it difficult to pass through this mid-life, mid-marriage crisis. children leaving home also adds fuel to the fire. The empty-nest syndrome affects them both. then how our marriages last despite all?

Here is where our societal pressures jumps in to make sure that these couple dont get split.

Once passing this crisis period, these couples turn into 'made for each other' ones.Old age and it's emotional and physical dependability on each other makes it an unbreakable bond! When they turn 60, their whole world start revolving round each other! but how could anyone honestly call this 'love'?

How many couples are truly happy in their marriage?

How many couples are truly in love with each other?

It's the social compulsions that keeps them together .

Even in this century, our so called well educated, economically independent women and men still opt for arranged marriages. Hassle-free, wallet-safe, heart-safe, easy-way-out! It may continue to do so..until society and culture 's stranglehold slacken !

It's no use in sugar coating it with 'love after marriage'. Love is not something we can manipulate according to our whims and fancies!!


Our arranged marriages are a cold-blooded, well-drawn out business contract with tightened clauses and no options.

No wonder it boasts a roaring success.

After all..any good business strategy should attain success..:):)



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5 comments:

S.R.Ayyangar said...

Nice analysis but going by the experiences of others in love marriage, live in etc...arranged marriage is still going strong because of its strong roots. After all, a love marriage can be 'Arranged' diligently.

Indli said...

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Nithin R S said...

Well my friend,you just wrote what i always thought about indian marriage.I agree with everything u said.One thing to add on it.Well marriages are forced on many with enormous blackmailing.This causes many people to give up their lives or give up their love.As you said majority of people live mechanically in a marriage.A good percentage of women stick to it,just cos they cant afford good education or amneties for their kids.Men who don't want to loose their kids,does the same.Well if indian parents can let their kids to marry the ones they love with blessings,here love marriages will survive big time unlike in west.Unfortunately many people take love as a easy route to sex or just fun or just emotional support even when they clearly know they can't marry their partners.Well,this is a very valid article.

Umbrella said...

@Ayengar-
The basic concept of arranging a marriage bet 2 strangers is barbaric! arranged marriages r still going strong..yes i agree...but NOT becz of love..but most of the time it's becz of societal pressures!..Thanks for ur visit and ur input.

Umbrella said...

@ Nithin R.S-
well said! U r right..If Indian parents r supportive of love marriage, those marriages will sure survive big time..unlike west.

Thanks for ur visit and ur valuable input.